Sunday, November 08, 2009

Vogt

Great assessment of the K. Flo-Vo conundrum from jfl at Ionarts:
Vogt is a stranger bird, altogether. With his odd, or perhaps lacking, technique, one wonders how many trained but struggling tenors listen to him thinking: “I’m stuck in the boonies and he’s got a world class career with that!?” Well, the difference is that whenever his voice ‘fits’, he has something no one else does. Since the listener/viewer only cares about the result, not what went into it, that’s more than sufficient. Klaus Florian Vogt’s special quality—“strange” doesn’t begin to describe its chorister-metallic-behind-the-forehead-bell-like character—certainly takes getting used to, but when he’s playing outsiders or introverted characters (Lohnengrin, Walter von Stolzing), that’s easy, because its distinctive character makes immediate dramatic sense. For it to make sense as Florestan, it will take longer than two arias in one evening. With him in that role, there is at least no doubt who’s wearing the pants in the two characters’ relationship—not just during, but also before and after his incarceration.
That pretty well expresses my feelings after the Met Lohengrin a few years back and the Bayreuth Meistersingers I've listened to on the radio. You can use "ethereal- space-alien-like" as a prefix for any portrayal he does like you can "lusty" for Domingo's roles. But once you hear that sound you need it again and again...

PS, here's a clip, though of course it doesn't get at how freaky loud that sweet voice sounds in the opera house:

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